South African Commonwealth Games medallists Elmarie Gerryts and Chris Harmse set Africa records as Lorraine Shaw (Britain) established a continental open record at the sixth and final ABSA Series meetings in Bellville, South Africa on Saturday night.
Cheered by a partisan crowd, Gerryts set an Africa record of 4.35m in the women’s pole vault. Gerryts who has been the Africa record holder in the event ever since the IAAF introduced it in 1995, improved on her old record of 4.30m which she set on June 27 in the German city of Rheinau’Freistat last year. Earlier in the week (Monday February 22), she had equalled her record when she vaulted to a height of 4.30m at an indoor meeting in Liévin, France
"My aim is to compete at the World Championships in Seville, Spain in August. Since the women’s pole vault is a new event, only the top 12 in the world are being invited to compete. I want to be among them," said Gerryts, a silver medallist at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
Although he could only manage to clinch third place in the men’s hammer throw, Harmse was hugely rewarded for his tenacity when he set the Africa record for the second time this year with a throw of 75.79m. Hungarian Adrain Annus won the event with a throw of 76.75 with Zsolt Nemeth second (76.39) and World Cup champion Tibor Gecsek fourth in 74.85. Harmse improved on the 75.65m mark he set at a provincial meeting in Germiston, South Africa on February 6. He is well inside the qualifying mark of 75.50m for the world championships.
"It is amazing what can achieved when one least expect it. I came to the stadium a little tired and did not expect to well. My best throws at the coast have never exceeded 73 meters. Therefore l am glad that l have overcome an important mental barrier. Furthermore, l was determined to beat at least one of the Hungarians. The fact that l finished ahead of Gecsek is the World Cup champion is a great motivation. God has blessed me today," said the deeply religious Harmse.
Britain’s hammer champion Lorraine Shaw, broke the women’s SA open record hammer for the second time with a throw of 64.66m, she had set the record at 63.29m in Stellenbosch on February 17.
"I want to be among the top five throwers in the World this year. By the time the European summer season comes, l want to be able to throw over 68 meters," said a confident Shaw who has a personal best of 64.90 set in Bedford, Britain in 1995.
South Africa’s World Youth Games 100m champion Paul Gorries (18) breezed past Marcus la Grange in the last 30 meters to win the 200m in a personal best of 20.65 seconds. This is also the fastest time by a South African this year. Gorries who turns 18 next week, has also made into the South African record books as the fastest under-17 of all times. He has dislodged Riaan Dempers who at 17, clocked 20.86 in 1994.La Grange was second in 20.75, with another new-find Morne James third in 21.01.
"The big races are next week and l hope l can take the pressure. I want to run a good time in both 100 and 200m in Durban," said Gorries making a clear reference to the SA Senior Track and Field Championships that takes place in the Indian Ocean port of Durban next Friday and Saturday (March 5-6).
Although he retired from the javelin competition prematurely, the world champion in javelin Marius Corbett, had every reason to smile after qualifying for the World Championships. Corbett’s spikes came apart as he made his second attempt at the javelin to put an end to his first competition of the year. Fortunately, he had already thrown 82.17m on his first throw. Not only did he win the event, he was also 17 centimeters beyond the qualifier for this year’s World championships in Seville, Spain.
Back from one month high altitude training in Eldoret (Western Kenya), Olympic 800m silver medalist Hezekiel Sepeng won the 1500m in 3:38.47, the second fastest time he has ever run in the event. His personal best of 3:38.24 was run in 1996. Easu Faro was second in 3:38.80. A resurgent Aaron Gabonewe took third place with a personal best of 3:39.50.
The men’s and women’s 3000m was the toast of the day with a number of athletes breaking new ground with quality performances. Six of the first seven in the men’s race set their personal bests. Fourth placed John Morapedi ran a season best and his second best time ever. Hendrik Ramaala won the race in 7.52.02. He was followed by Enoch Skosana (7.52.11), Morapedi (7.55.83), Richard Mavuso (7.59.81), Solomon Khambule (8.01.66), Trevor James (8.01.89), Patrick Kaotsane (8.03.02) in that order.
South Africa junior women proved they have talented distance runners in depth when six of the first eight athletes in the 3000m dipped below the 10-minute mark. All eight athletes set their personal bests. Race winner Yolandi Buitendag and sixth placed Theresa du Toit were the only seniors to shine in a race dominated by teenagers. Second and third placed Yolandi Neuhoff (17), and Letitia Pheleu (16) were inside the 9:37.05 qualifier for the World Youth Championships that will be held in Bydgoszcz, Poland from July 16-18.
Buitendag won the race in 9:20.70. She was followed by Neuhoff (9:23.20), Pheleu (9:31.90), Tonia Carstens (9:37.44), Catherine Maapela (9:37.46), Du Toit (9:39.71), Liza-Mari Venter 9:46.38.
Mark Ouma for IAAF in Bellville
Note :All athletes are South African unless stated. Where the results of an event are noteworthy, more than the first three finishers are given.
100m:1. Matthew Quinn 10.73;2 Bradley Agnew 10.75;3 Marcus la Grange 10.80; 200m:1 Paul Gorries(PB) 20.65;2 Marcus la Grange 20.75;3 Morne James 21.01;4 Jean-Francios Ngapout (Cameroon) 21.24;400m:1 Jopie van Oudtshoorn 45.81;2 Arnaud Malherbe 46.56;3 Tshepo Thobelangope 47.32;4 Adriaan Botha 47.35; 400m (b): 1. Gideon Louw 48.15; 1. Patrick Winter 48.52, 3. Marcus Wesley (USA) 48.81;800m:1 Hendrik Mogkanyetsi 1.48.27;2 Sean Abraham 1.48.40;3 Jurgens Kotze 1.48.40;1500m:1 Hezekiel Sepeng 3.38.47;2 Esau Faro 3.38.80;3 Aaron Gabonewe 3.39.50 (PB);4 Meyer Kotze (PB)3.43.92;5 Jozsef Babinyecz (Hungary) 3.45.12;6 Japie van Zyl 3.45.46;7 Deon Joubert; 3.47.85;8 Sam Mlangeni 3.48.33;9 Goin Cillie 22.214.171.124; 3000m:1 Hendrik Ramaala (PB) 7.52.02;2 Enoch Skosana (PB)7.52.11;3 John Morapedi 7.55.83;4 Richard Mavuso (PB) 7.59.81;5 Solomon Khambule (PB) 8.01.66; 6.Trevor James (PB) 8.01.89;7 Patrick Kaotsane(PB)8.03.02;3000m steeplechase:1 Petros Sithole 8.53.45;2 Joel Kgokong 8.58.74;3 Jacob Mfini 9.08.28; High Jump:1 Malcolm Hendricks 2.15;2 Fana mtshatsheni 2.05;3 Altus Rossouw 2.00;Hammer:1 Adrian Annus (Hungary) 76.75;2 Zsolt Nemeth (Hungary) 76.39;3 Chris Harmse (Africa record) 75.79;4 Tibor Gecsek (Hungary) 74.85;5 Mick Jones (Britain) 73.63;6 William Beauchamp;(Britain) 68.80; Javelin:1 Marius Corbett 82.17;2 Johannes van Eck 74.80;3 Daniel Badenhorst 67.27;
100m:1 Wendy Hartman 11.46;2 Marliese Steyn 11.88;3 Esmarie le Roux 12.01; 200m:1 Esmarie le Roux 24.20;2 Suzaan Lourens 24.24;3 Cindy Peters 25.19;400m:1 Judit Szkeres (Hungary) 53.55,2 Tatyana Tereschuk (Ukraine) 53.84;3 Adri Vlok 54.90;800m:1 Julie Sakara (Zimbabwe) 2.05.61;2 Avril Halstead 2.06.66;3 Rhoda Snyman 2.08.48;3000m:1 Yolandi Buitendag 9.20.70;2 Yolandi Neuhoff 9.23.20;3 Letitia Pheleu 9.31.90;4 Tonya Carstens 9.37.44;5 Catherine Maapela 9.37.46;6 Theresa du Toit 9.39.71;7 Liza-Marie Venter 9.46.38;Long Jump:1 Liezel Heyneke 6.15;2 Charlene Lawrence 6.00;3 Michelle Berowsky 5.69;Pole Vault:1 Elmarie Gerryts (Africa record) 4.35;2 Ida-Marie Ehlers 3.60;3 Sylma Jordaan 3.60;Shot Put:1 Maranelle du Toit 15.58;2 Elmarie Knoetzen 12.02;3 Maralize Engelbrecht 11.94;4 Carien Visser 11.81;5 Diana Holden (Britain) 9.56;Hammer:1 Lorraine Shaw (SA Open record) 64.66;2 Katalin Divos (Hungary) 60.81;3 Elmarie Kotezen 53.76;4 Marlize Englebrecht 51.82;5 Diana Holden (Britain) 51.71;6 Liezel van Zyl 50.23; Javelin:1. Kate Amos (Britain) 45.49